Surviving Colic

Colic was something I heard mentioned occasionally when I was pregnant, but not something I paid much attention to. I bought some MAM Anti-Colic bottles and had some Infacol and Gripe Water in the nursery ready “just incase”, but it wasn’t something I thought would be a problem for us. I didn’t think it was particularly common and because of that didn’t bother to find anything out about it. I was an idiot.

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Isla arrived, and screamed, and screamed, and screamed. Then she screamed some more. She screamed from day one. She cried non-stop until 4am on our first evening at home. It was quite the introduction to parenthood.

Google suggested she had colic. She had all of the symptoms; crying in the evening, lasting several hours – check, drawing her knees up to her chest – check, clenching her firsts – check.

The thing with Colic is that nobody seems sure exactly what it is, or what causes it. Our GP suggested that the problem is that babies digestive systems are still developing when they’re born, meaning they often have problems with trapped wind, gut sensitivity and indegestion. Whether this is true, who knows. What I have come to realise though is that it is extremely common and most babies suffer with colic to some degree.

It is extrememly hard for the parents of a colicky baby. The constant crying, during a time when you’re already beyond knackerd, is really difficult to cope with. Seeing your baby crying and knowing there is very little you can do is heartbreaking.

I spent hours and hours researching colic and there are a few things that worked for us. All babies are different, and what worked for us, may not work for you but here is what we tried…

  • Medication – Infacol, Dentinox, Gripe Water and Colief
    We began with Infacol. It didn’t work for us but we have since been told that it takes a while to get into the system so it may be that we didn’t give it long enough to kick in. Similar story with Dentinox.
    Colief has been a life saver for us. It’s ridiculously expensive, but I am yet to hear from anyone who has tried it and not been completely won over. It is miracle medicine. There is another product available in Asda called Co Lactase. I haven’t tried this but it appears to do the same job as Colief at a more reasonable price.
    Gripe Water can be used once baby is one month old. We combine this with Colief on really bad days and it seems to work well.
  • Massage
    I do baby massage on Isla’s tummy throughout the day to try and prevent pain in the evening. I attend baby massage classes, but there are videos available on YouTube which demonstrate massage techniques.
    Bicycle kicks are really effective in an evening, and she also seems to get some relief when I push her knees up towards her belly button and hold this position for around 30 seconds.
  • Winding
    When a midwife came to my house the day after Isla was born, she told me I didn’t need to wind her, and that the UK is the only country in the world which winds babies. Many people also told me breastfed babies do not need to be winded.
    I have chosen to completely ignore this information. In my opinion it is complete bull.
    I wind Isla after every feed and get burps from her 90% of the time, which to me proves I am doing the right thing by burping her.
  • Vibrating Mattress
    During the early days the only way Isla would sleep for a reasonable amount of time was when we put her to sleep in her travel cot and turned on the vibrating mattress. I’ve no idea of the science behind it, but this seemed to really help her and bring some relief.
  • Craniosacral Therapy
    I wasn’t going to include this, as I don’t think it worked for us. However I have heard from other people that swear by it, and as with everything, there is no one fit all solution so it might be that this works miracles for your little baby.
    Craniosacral Therapy is carried out by an osteopath and they claim to use gentle massage and touch to release cerebrospinal fluid, which they say relieves colic.
    Do your research first, there are arguments both for and against this therapy, and some people believe there are risks involved.

Many people told me that the only thing that would help relieve colic was time. I wanted to punch them in the face, but unfortunately I think they were right. Lots of these things worked to an extent, but the only thing that has really solved the problem completely is time. As Isla has got older, she seems to be suffering less and less.

Colic is horrendous and much worse than I ever imagined it could be. I feel it really spoilt our first few weeks as parents as we were permanently exhausted.

For us, 11 weeks since our daughter was born, I finally feel things are starting to get better.

Hang on in there, it will pass. I promise!

L xx

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